The hubby and I had an opportunity to take a quick three night trip to Cancun - all we had to do was get ourselves there! Whoohoo! Since the hubby travels a lot for work, he had racked up some points and free nights with Hyatt that we needed to use by the end of September. After finding cheap-o flights on Frontier, we packed up our bags and went on our little adventure this past weekend to the Hyatt Zilara.
I've been a little MIA on the blog this month, thanks to this little view! Not too shabby, right? The hubby and I went to Cancun, Mexico last week, and I got to see this everyday from my room. Take me back!
April has officially been "vacation month", and the nails and the blog took a bit of a back seat. The hubby and I get so excited about going on vacation that we start to count down weeks in advance and my time leading up to our travel is spent packing, shopping (vacation is the perfect excuse for new clothes!), and generally just talking a lot about going on vacation. A LOT. Now that we're back, it's time to show the nails some love! They definitely needed it after a week in the water!
I started off my post-vacation week with a simple neutral mani, using Take It Outside by Essie. The chipping was so horrendous on my vacation mani, that I just needed something - anything - to make my nails feel pretty again. And you know I love my neutrals! I wore Take It Outside on its own for a day, then decided to spice it up last night with a bit of nail art.
I thought I'd incorporate some bright colors that reminded me of vacation overtop of my neutral mani, and I'm loving the outcome! I'm really into super simple, and this one was super simple. I used For Audrey by China Glaze, a beautiful turquoise that reminded me of the beach, and painted a curved half oval type of shape on the left side of each nail. After letting it dry for a few minutes, I came in with my trusty bobby pin (my new favorite nail art tool), and dotted along the curved line using Rose Among Thorns by China Glaze, a neon red based pink. It's hard to tell in the pictures and in this design, but on it's own, Rose Among Thorns is a bright, high voltage polish. I love the simplicity of this look, and it makes me think of our trip!
If you like this look, I highly recommend trying it out! It's extremely easy if you are new to nail art, and has a simple, clean look. I tend to prefer simple designs over things that are overly complicated so this is right up my alley. 1) I can actually do the nail art and not make it look like a 1st grader did it, and 2) I actually do like simplicity in design. Or maybe I just lack a creative gene and patience? Haha. Either way, this one's a winner!
Do you have any fun travel plans for this summer? Does your travel inspire your manis? I'd love to hear all about it in the comments.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you stop by often!
"How do your nails look so neat?" It's a question I get asked quite a bit, but I'm about to spill the beans...They aren't perfect! By dedicating 5 minutes to mani clean up, you can have great looking nails, too!
I think one of the most important aspects of my mani routine is my post nail painting clean up. Maybe I'm just anal about it, but I can't stand when I have polish on my cuticles. And I like a nice even, clean edge, so I end up "cleaning up" my manicure 95% of the time. There is that 5% where I truly impress myself, sit back, and think "you could be a pro"...but that is few and far between.
After I paint my nails, they typically look something like this.
In order to get them looking neat and crisp around the cuticles, I use the Sonia Kashuk Brush No. 105 along with pure acetone, and very gently and slowly work around my cuticle to clear away the excess polish that has crept onto my skin. I like this brush because it is short and relatively stiff, making it very easy to maneuver around the nail and ensure a clean line. The brush is available at Target for $5.99, and is found alongside all of the other Sonia Kashuk make-up brushes. I believe this one is intended to be used as an eyeliner brush, but it works perfectly for mani clean up as well.
I first discovered this technique, and the Sonia Kashuk brush No. 105, through Lindsay Gentles, author of the blog Sparkly Tips. I'm so glad I did because this makes my clean up super quick and easy! Lindsay also has a YouTube channel called Lindsay Does Nails - check her out. I've learned so much from her, and her blog and Youtube channel are great resources!
Back to the clean-up...
1. Dip your brush into acetone, and blot the excess on the side of your container, or on a paper towel. You don't want too much acetone on the brush or it will puddle on your nail, and will make the clean up more difficult - or worse! - it could ruin your mani. NOOOOO!
2. Next, start at one end of your nail, and slowly slide the brush along your cuticle, working your way to the other side. You'll want to make sure that you do this slowly so that your hand doesn't accidentally slip, and being slow will also help keep the width of the gap between your cuticle and nail polish consistent so that you have a nice clean line. Angling the brush away from the nail as you do this also helps to keep the "gap" from becoming too wide between your cuticle and nail polish.
3. I tend to get polish on the tips of my fingers as well, so I always go in and use the brush to remove the unwanted polish. In fact, once I finish my cuticle line, I inspect my hands for any nail polish that might be hiding and remove it. I always seem to bump something mid mani and get the polish on a knuckle or something! Once you're done with clean-up, your nail will have a clean edge, like in the picture below. Ahh...isn't that better??
4. Follow up with a quick dry top coat, like Seche Vite, and a good cuticle oil, like Essie's Apricot Cuticle Oil. Acetone dries out your skin, so you'll probably notice that they look a little ashy and dry after clean up, but the cuticle oil will bring them back to life!
Once you've officially erased all evidence of your amateur mani skills, you'll be left with beautifully manicured nails that look something like this! Much better! :) By the way, the nail polish used for this manicure is "For Audrey" by China Glaze - Love!
What is your clean-up routine? Do you have another brush that is your favorite? If you don't have a routine, do you think this is something you would try? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below.
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you stop by often!
New Year's Eve is the perfect holiday to bring out the glitter bombs!
Today, I stopped into Sally's Beauty Supply because I heard that they had great deals on all of their clearance holiday items (I always love a good sale! Who doesn't?). What I found was the China Glaze Sprinkle Some Twinkle gift set for $3,99, and I snagged it right away! Considering that China Glaze polishes go for $7.50 a pop, getting two full size bottles for $3,99 was a steal! The regular price on this gift set was $15.00. The set includes "No Peeking!", a muted frosted purple (more of an eggplant tone really), and "Dancing & Prancing", a clear based glitter polish, which is what I used for tonight's mani. I did test out "No Peeking!", and I'm sad to say that I absolutely hated it! More on that later...
"Dancing & Prancing" is packed with various sizes of glitter - mainly turquoise, magenta, silver, and gold hex glitters, and small round micro glitters in the same colors. It's such a beautiful glitter, and incredibly dense. I used two coats and got this polish opaque. I'm loving this glitter! I've been really into glitters lately, and I'm finding that I gravitate towards the muted glitters (if that's possible - a muted glitter?). But what I mean by that is the colors used in the glitters are soft, and the golds lean more towards a rose gold. I'm into those.
(Side note - not sure if you'll see the same format on a mobile device or tablet as I do on my laptop...but I just realized that each of the last four lines in this post start with the world glitter! That's a whole lotta glitter!)
If you're shy about wearing an intense glitter, try one out on New Year's Eve. If any holiday screams glitter, it's this one! Just think about the sparkly ball that you'll be watching on the countdown, and translate that onto your nails - you won't regret it!
So, I mentioned I had a nail fail. I bought the Sprinkle Some Twinkle gift set by China Glaze with the hopes that I could duplicate the mani shown on the box. Well, that didn't happen! Ugh, I don't even want to post the picture of my attempt (because I hate it!), but I want to be honest with my experience - not all mani's are as easy as they look! And the nail polish itself can make it difficult, too!
I hated everything about this mani! For starters, I didn't like the color, or formula, of "No Peeking!". I thought I would like it when I purchased it, but once it was on my nail I hated it. It showed every imperfection in my nail, and was not easy to apply. It was extremely thick and goopy, and just sort of looked "blah" on the nail. I felt like I had so many other colors in my collection that would have complemented the glitter so much better.
The second reason I hated this mani has to do with the nail guides provided. The gift set came with nail guides in order to be able to create the moon design by the cuticles. When I applied the nail guides, the adhesive stuck to the polish, which is why you see the funky bumps above the glitter. I'll probably try using these again with another polish to see if it was a one time fluke, but it was extremely disappointing. Even though the outcome of my Sunday night mani was different than I anticipated when I first started my mani session tonight, I still think the gift set was a good deal, because I consider $3.99 for "Dancing & Prancing" a good price.
I had some company while on my mani marathon tonight - WINE! Tonight, the hubby and I had chicken parmigiana (YUM!), and everyone knows that red wine goes perfectly with Italian food. Well, I picked this bottle of Coppola Rosso & Bianco "Rosso" up for the holidays, and decided to uncork it tonight. This is a California table wine made by Francis Ford Coppola Winery and it's a nice everyday wine. I would get this again - it was a light & enjoyable!
If you want to pick up the Sprinkle Some Twinkle gift collection, check out your Sally Beauty Supply store. They still had a lot left at my local store, so you can hopefully still get it at yours, too. I know I didn't give a rave review of both polishes, but it's definitely work getting the set for "Dancing & Prancing". And who knows - maybe you'll love both polishes.
Have you ever had a nail polish that totally disappointed? Share your stories in the comments - might save me a few bucks! :)
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you stop by often!
Tonight is all about the holiday sparkle!
I've been changing up my mani quite a bit this holiday season, and tonight's mani might just be my favorite! A few weeks ago, I purchased a few polishes and promised the hubby that he could put them in my stocking for Christmas, and I was soooooo close to keeping that promise! UNTIL TONIGHT! I may or may not have asked if I could have one early so that I could use it tonight for my Sunday mani. In my defense, this is the ultimate holiday polish! Waiting until after Christmas to sport this polish would just be wrong! Luckily, hubby agreed!
It's official, I am absolutely obsessed with China Glaze's "Ruby Pumps". It is such a rich, beautiful ruby red, with tons of micro glitter and shimmer. Think Dorthy's ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz. The picture above doesn't do this polish justice - I've been doing jazz hands and moving my fingers under the lights all night just in awe of all the sparkle! It looks amazing when the micro glitter catches the light. If you don't own this polish, put this one on your want list! The formula is great, and it was completely opaque in two coats.
I chose to sport a gold accent nail, which looks absolutely fantastic with Ruby Pumps. I feel like I'm wearing Christmas ornaments on my nails, and I LOVE IT! I used a very sheer gold shimmer as the base on my accent nail since the glitter topper I used has a clear base. (The sheer polish is an old Wet 'n' Wild polish that I have, which is no longer available that I'm aware of - it doesn't even have a name on it! Pretty sure it's about 15 years old) To finish off the accent nail, I used "Gimme Gold" by Candie's, which is a chunky clear based glitter. The glitter was a bit sparse, so I used a few coats to get fuller coverage.
Tonight's inspiration - the beautiful ornaments in the centerpiece on my kitchen table!
Tonight's drink... a big glass of water! HAHA! I anticipate some heavier drinking over the next week of festivities, so I decided water was the perfect choice for tonight. I'll have one or two tasty holiday drink recipes coming soon - so watch for those- but today, water it is!
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you stop by often!